24 Pretty Napkin Ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner

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painted napkins royal blue
Photo: Steven McDonald

Use these beautiful Thanksgiving napkin folding ideas to celebrate fall and family. With ideas for color schemes, styling tips, and simple napkin folding, our collection of Thanksgiving napkins will be the cherry on top of a perfect table setting.

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Glittering Gold

Glittering Gold table placement
Yunhee Kim

For a contemporary look, stick with plain white and gold accents. Just roll a white cloth napkin and secure it with a fun gold napkin ring. Continue the gold accents throughout the table decor.

02 of 24

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty leaf name rag
Carson Downing

Dress up a simple white napkin with a lovely leaf name card. Using a white oil-based marker ($4, Michaels), write your guests' names on faux magnolia leaves, then place each one on top of a neutral-toned napkin. To bring out the warm tones in your dinner display, opt for textured plates and gold cutlery.

03 of 24

Beautiful Blues

Fall Table Setting blue
Adam Albright

Napkins for Thanksgiving don't have to be fussy. Add a pop of unexpected color with a turquoise cloth napkin. Bring in natural colors from the rest of the table display with wood napkin rings. Look for some with a touch of metal for a chic look, or make your own with metallic paint.

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Tiny Tags

Tiny Tags name dining
Adam Albright

For this cute custom look, find cardstock gift tags ($2, Target), or cut your own with decorative edged scissors. Write guest names on the tags, and secure them sideways on a rolled napkin with a thin satin ribbon. Turn the napkin on the place setting so the tag is facing out.

05 of 24

Bold and Bright

painted napkins royal blue
Steven McDonald

These hand-painted linen napkins add color to plain dinnerware. Find an on-trend design that matches your favorite placemats, tie with neutral-toned leather lacing, and display in front of each seat.

06 of 24

Patterned Pinecone Napkins

Patterned Pinecone Napkins
Miki Duisterhof

Get this simple seasonal napkin look by hot-gluing small pine sprigs and pinecones to a solid-colored napkin ring. For a fun look, use patterned napkins for Thanksgiving.

07 of 24

Black Tie Event

Black Tie Event place setting
Carson Downing

Accentuate a patterned tablecloth with this black and white napkin display. Wrap a white linen napkin in silk ribbon, then tuck a sprig or two of black faux leaves into the center. For a little more color, add a few green leaves behind the black ones.

08 of 24

Earthy and Natural

Earthy Natural place setting
Adam Albright

Warm-toned table settings can add a cozy, natural effect to your decor this year. Wrap a patterned napkin in a leather napkin ring ($16, Wayfair), then poke faux dandelions or other greenery into the center. Place on neutral dinner plates and finish out the look with a woven placemat.

09 of 24

Dyed Napkins

Dyed Napkins colors cloth
Stephen Kent Johnson

These DIY hand-dyed napkins are the perfect way to dress up your Thanksgiving table. Combine water and liquid dye in a large pot, then boil linen napkins in the dye bath for at least 30 minutes. Once the desired color is achieved, remove napkins from the dye bath, rinse thoroughly, and hang up to dry. Fold and place next to each plate at your Thanksgiving feast.

10 of 24

Braided Bonds

table decor with eucalyptus garland white candles place settings
Matthew Clark

Create a rustic and refined atmosphere this Thanksgiving for you and your loved ones. Pull off an effortless place setting by wrapping thin braided rope or twine around each napkin.

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Floral Napkin Ring

Floral Napkin Ring
Marty Baldwin

Add a pop of color to this year's spread with a floral napkin ring. Create a small bouquet by attaching sprigs of faux flowers and greenery to a strip of craft wire with florists tape ($3, Michaels). Place the bouquet on top of the napkin and wrap the craft wire around it multiple times to secure it. Then, cover the wire with twine and place it on each guest's plate.

12 of 24

Simple Statements

thanksgiving table setting with gold utensils and greenery centerpiece
Marty Baldwin

Even if your Thanksgiving centerpiece is going to steal the show at this year's feast, you can still set out a pretty napkin display that won't distract from the main decor. Dress up plain white cloth napkins with a galvanized napkin ring ($3, Target) that matches the metal chargers under each plate.

13 of 24

Statement Napkin Rings

Christmas-themed place setting
Adam Albright

Accent any décor or theme with statement napkin rings for a straightforward, upscale look. Pair with a neutral-toned cloth napkin for a simple, but elegant look. These snow-dusted twig napkin rings are versatile enough for both Thanksgiving and Christmas while adding an earthy element to any gathering.

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Suede Braided Napkin Ring

Suede Braided Napkin Ring
Adam Albright

These suede napkin rings are a modern take on our favorite childhood camp bracelets. Using a six-strand braiding pattern, braid six 30-inch strands of suede cording ($3, Walmart) together and tie off. Wrap the braid around a rolled-up napkin or colorful bandana.

15 of 24

Simply Easy

simple Cloth Napkins
Andy Lyons

This Thanksgiving napkin folding idea couldn't be easier. If your Thanksgiving decorating style is more understated, simply roll cloth napkins and tie with a piece of twine. The result is an effortless look, but the texture of the twine reflects the nature of the season.

16 of 24

Wrapped in Ribbon

elegant christmas place setting with patterned table cloth
Brie Williams

You don't need fancy or expensive napkin rings to make a bold statement this Thanksgiving. Before the big meal, get out your favorite cloth napkins and wrap each one in a coordinating color of ribbon and tie a big classic bow. After dinner, gather the ribbons so they can be reused for projects, gift wrapping, or next year's feast.

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Tagged Napkin Rings

Tagged Napkin Rings names
Helen Norman

These crafty baubles pack a two-for-one punch as both napkin rings and place cards. Print guests' names on decorative paper and cut them to fit on metal pendant frames. Glue paper tags to the back of the pendants and string onto lengths of thin hemp (both pendants and hemp are available at jewelry supplies at crafts stores). Tie the tags around rolled napkins and tuck a wheat shock or two behind the tag.

18 of 24

Tucked In

Tucked In gold simple
Marty Baldwin

Draw attention to your favorite cutlery with this easy napkin display. Print or draw festive lettering on colored card stock then cut into long strips. Fold and fasten loosely around a white napkin and tuck your favorite silverware in between.

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Gorgeous Gold

table setting with patterned plates and tablecloth
Carson Downing

Play up the colors on the trees outside by incorporating gorgeous golds and oranges into your Thanksgiving table. These pretty patterned napkins are each held by a leafy gold napkin ring ($6, Walmart) and perfectly contrast the blue tones of the plates and tablecloth.

20 of 24

Rosemary Napkin Rings

Rosemary Napkin Rings
Tria Giovan

These napkins for Thanksgiving utilize your garden's bounty. Make enchantingly-scented rosemary rings up to four hours before use. Overlap the two ends of the sprig on the back of the napkin, and secure with green florists wire.

21 of 24

Lacy Leaves

Lacy Leaves burgundy
Marty Baldwin

This simple Thanksgiving DIY uses window screens to make a festive leaf perfect for displaying at your dinner table. Cut leaf shapes out of window screen panels and spray with gold spray paint. Draw veins on the leaf with gold or bronze puffy paint and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Once dry, show off the leaves by placing them on a colorful napkin.

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Family Tree

Family Tree leave place setting
Au King

Decorate your holiday dinner table with napkins and napkin rings that match the season. You can be creative and combine unexpected items or go for a more traditional look. Give your table settings a personal touch by tying napkins with ribbon printed with a seasonal message. Use a permanent marker to handwrite names on dried or fresh leaves for place cards.

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Fresh Folds

Fresh Folds greenery place setting
Adam Albright

Match your place settings to the table's centerpiece for a cohesive look. To create a napkin setting similar to the one seen here, practice a few festive napkin folds and place fresh fruit in the center. Write your guests' names on a place card or faux leaf and tie it to the stem with ribbon.

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Acorn Napkin Tie

Acorn Napkin Tie
Peter Krumhardt

Bring nature to the table with a pretty do-it-yourself napkin tie by embellishing velvet ribbon with twigs and acorns. Simply secure the end of the twig in the knot of the ribbon. Look for unique faux acorns (like this pearl acorn) for a more elegant look.

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